Showing posts with label Arbutus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arbutus. Show all posts

Sunday, October 23, 2022

On The Pig's Back Menu Sings The Season’s Songs. A mellow melody for misty days ahead.

On The Pig's Back New Menu 

Sings The Season’s Songs.

A mellow melody for misty days ahead.

There is a new menu at On The Pigs Back in Douglas, gorgeous and extensive, plates over-brimming with something delicious for everyone, based on the best of local produce from the bounty of the current season, with a French influence, naturellement, and expertly curated by head chef Paul Siglar and his team and no shortage of expertise either in the cooking and presentation.

Just reading its two pages is a tonic for the appetite. But why walk when you can fly! Tempted by the long list of delightful dishes, I certainly “flew" down to the venue and may well have caught the new menu, with its marvellous melange of meats, breads, vegetables, fish, cheese, and eggs of course, on its debut day. It won’t be my last visit for this menu!

As they say themselves: "As the seasons change so does our menu, ensuring we use the best in season produce while staying exciting to our customers.” Variety is the spice of life and no shortage here.

Took us a while to make a decision! Just so many choices. On the meat side, you may well go for Jack McCarthy's Free-Range Ham Sandwich with Bandon Vale Cheddar Cheese, Green Leaves, Pickled Cucumber, Tomato & Onion with a Red Pepper Relish on Arbutus Sour Dough served

with house salads.


Dining out in Ireland? Cork in particular? Check out our up to date reviews hereRestaurants, cafés, and trucks included.


Cheese? How about the Irish and French Cheese & Charcuterie Board with Apple and Carrot Chutney, Crackers and Fresh Bread. Prefer fish? Then the Smoked Salmon and Prawn Salad with Mixed Leaves, Maryrose Sauce, Pickled Red Onions, Brown Bread Croutons may be the one for you.

Treat the Vegetable lover in you to the Hot Braised Lentil and Rainbow Beetroot over Mixed Leaves, Red Onions, Toasted Hazelnuts and Maple Vinaigrette. And you can hardly get more seasonal than the Pumpkin Spiced Butternut Squash, Poached Pears, Watercress and Spinach Salad with Mulled Wine Dressing. How about those eggs? The Welsh Rarebit on Arbutus Beer Bread with an Arugula and Boiled Egg Salad is just one example

There’s bread everywhere: sourdough, baguettes, brioche, and more. Most irresistible though is the Arbutus Brioche French Toast Whipped Chantilly Cream and Blackberry Compote. There’s tea and coffee and soft drinks, of course, all served with a chat and a smile

I had read the menu online and had narrowed my choices down to two by the time I sat down and then made my mind up to go for the Bourguignon Beef Baguette: Braised Beef Brisket, Mushrooms, Bacon and Pearl Onions on Toasted Arbutus Baguette with Red Wine Jus. Just five-star lunch-ing, spot-on for the cool day, quite a warming ensemble robed deliciously in the red wine jus.

I devoured the Croque Madame back in May and it is obviously so popular it continues now and for a long time to come, we hope! This time CL enjoyed it. It comes in Arbutus Toasted Brioche with Free-Range Glazed Ham, Emmental cheese & Mornay Sauce topped with a Fried Free-Range Egg. Again, every little bit on that beguiling plate pulling its weight, the quality of the ingredients shining through, nothing there just for decoration (though of course, presentation is neat and tidy).

So that was it. We had been thinking a pastry for dessert but decided to leave well enough alone and it was two very happy customers that headed off for the hills, promising ourselves we’d be back again, so much more to enjoy!

On the Pig's Back in Douglas have both a café and deli.
Situated in Douglas Woollen Mills with free parking for up to two hours.

More details here.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Greenwich Café. Where New Kid On The Block Dermot Smoothly Settles In

Greenwich Café. 

Where New Kid On The Block Dermot Smoothly Settles In

There’s a mean Reuben on the menu at Greenwich these days. Chef and new owner Dermot O’Sullivan calls it “a taste of NYC on Caroline Street”. 

And his phrase also answers a question frequently put his way since he took over the former Idaho Café a few short weeks back.

The Greenwich refers to the famous “village", once offbeat now high-end, in New York, the centre of the city’s creative culture of the 1960s and where artists (Jackson Pollack for instance) and musicians (including Bob Dylan and the Clancy Brothers) did their thing. The new name has nothing to do with the Greenwich of mean time fame!

Dermot, as you may know, took over from the Jacobs (Mairéad and Richard) who had made Idaho one of the best-known and best cafés in the land. They have retained the brand and so Dermot had to find a new name and, like his predecessors here, looked west for inspiration!

And the new Greenwich is looking well. On a rare “day off” since the 25th of January takeover, Dermot took up the painting brushes and gave his Greenwich “a nice cosy warm olive green backdrop”. Some stunning @AlanHurleyArt paintings (including one of Michael D) will catch your eye as will the flowers on the curved counter and bright bunches of West Cork daffodils on the tables.

Welcome to Greenwich, a few yards from Patrick Street

Not too much change in the morning routine here as the salad leaves, freshly baked Arbutus and spiced beef are delivered to the door. And more colour with strikingly beautiful pink rhubarb (sourced from English Market) used for a topping on your porridge.

Not a porridge person? How about the Home-made Granola served with Greek yogurt and Berry Compote?

Regulars will be thrilled to see the Homemade Waffles retained on the menu. They, the waffles not the regulars, come with selection of toppings, including Chocolate sauce, Organic maple syrup and Butterscotch.

Fish Pie

You also have a couple of baps to choose from. Either a Crispy Irish Bacon and Sausage Flour Bap or a Crispy Bacon and Durrus Irish Farmhouse Cheese Melted Bap.

Lunch, if you wish, may begin with soup. Parsnip and Apple, Roasted Sweet Potato and Coconut, and Pea with Delicious Fresh Mint, have been among the early offerings and all  are served with Dermot's own wheaten bread baked that morning. We had a taste of that bread and it is excellent.

We were in for lunch and that takes me back to that Reuben. The spiced beef is from Tim Mulcahy’s Chicken Inn and is served with sauerkraut, Russian Dressing and Melted Monterey Jack, all served on Arbutus sourdough, and there’s also a small but excellent side salad. 

Thumbs up for that and also for our other main course, the Fish Pie, packed with fish from Pat O’Connell’s in the English Market. Bit of name-dropping there just to illustrate that local is high on the menu here.

The flowers on the curved counter share space with a colourful parade of tempting cakes, including Lemon and Almond, Red Velvet Cake, Coffee Cake, Caramel Squares, scones and more. 

Cake? Pic via Greenwich

We picked the Coffee and Walnut Cake, a very popular one and we could see why. Slices are generous here and we shared one along with a couple of cups of top notch coffee.

Quite a few weeks for Dermot and his friendly crew since the changeover on January 25th. Quite a lunch for we two! 

So all the best to Greenwich in the weeks and months ahead. I’m betting it just keeps getting better.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

On The Pig's Back. 'Cork Fayre with French Flair'

On The Pig's Back.'Cork Fayre with French Flair' 

Founded in 1992 by Isabelle Sheridan, On The Pig’s Back has a major presence in the Cork and indeed wider food scene, coupling the best of local produce with an undoubted French Flair - Isabelle is French - as is their motto.

No better way to put it to the test than visit the restaurant in Douglas for brunch or lunch. The menu illustrates the motto very well indeed with local produce from Ardsallagh Goats and Jack McCarthy Butchers often highlighted. It is an expansive menu and I for one could happily eat there everyday for a few weeks without repeating a dish.

When I sat down the other day, having had my covid certificate scanned and telephone number recorded, I had quite a bit of reading to do on the long menu. Found it hard enough to make up my mind but, in the end, went for the Croque Madam (no “e” in the Madam, must be a Cork spelling!). You’ll know there is also a Croque Monsieur but without the egg.

So I had Croque Madam on Arbutus Toasted Brioche, with On The Pigs Back Free-Range Glazed Ham, Emmental Cheese and Mornay topped with a Fried Free-Range Egg. Cost, including a small bowl of a superbly-dressed salad, was €12.90, Monsieur (less well endowed) comes in at a euro less. Money well spent I thought; there are pubs in the area who charge much the same for a lack-lustre roast of the day.

It was l’amour at first bite, the delicious ham, the yielding brioche, that super velvety mornay plus the crowning egg and then that mixed salad on the side adding its own texture and the occasional tarty bite of a thin slice of olive. Mornay is an offshoot of the well known Béchamel (widely regarded as one of the five major French sauces, a mother sauce from which others spring) and is distinguished by its cheese element. You get a lot in this dish for your €12.90!

Madame CL also had a choice to make and her pick is a variation on what has become a local classic over the years, beetroot and goats cheese. Full menu title: Oven Roasted Beetroot Salad with Candied Walnuts, Rocket leaves and Crumbled Ardsallagh Goats Cheese.

The description is a bit understated as this was another well executed and lovely dish, again for €12.90. Two different coloured beetroots featured, there was also a beetroot purée an a few beetroot crisps (probably from Joe’s Farm). Never a problem with that excellent Ardsallagh and those walnuts provided the sweetest bite.

The café and deli in Douglas produces a range of delicious food, supporting local food producers, and is also a busy spot for Artisan food shopping, lunch, food tastings and special events, as diverse as art exhibitions, concerts, plays, food festivals & much, much more. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

They are of course still going strong in the English Market, Isabelle’s original venture. There is no cafe here but you will find Farmhouse Cheeses, Charcuterie, Fresh Breads, Irish Artisan Food, and French Gourmet Food Specialities and more, including some of their own produce such as award-winning Pâté and Terrines.

Add in wines and their very large cheese business and you’ll see that this operation (retail and wholesale) has hugely expanded from that single stall back in the 90s. Check it out here at the website.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

FEAST. On the Street. The Main Event

FEAST. On the Street

The Main Event
Family day out. Busy side-street.

From the outset of the rebranded FEAST, Saturday had been billed as The Main Event. And the crowds of people up and down Midleton’s Main Street and side streets and in the Farmer’s Market, demonstrated just that. And, once again, the weather played its part, the odd shower no deterrent at all to those strolling and snacking, and those eating a tad more seriously at the long outdoor table opposite the Restaurant Tent where some eleven restaurants were selling delicious small plates at a fiver each.
Ethiopian stall

But is wasn't just the restaurants. Lots of other food (Green Saffron were busy, as always) available as well under the mainly blue sky. Great too to see the local butchers, including Jim Crowley and Frank Murphy, on the street, bakers too and coffee makers. No shortage of sweet stuff as you made your way between the various hot-spots.
The Granary Crew

The Demo Marquee was a magnet as Bertha’s Revenge Gin, Patrick Ryan’s sourdough, and various chefs, including Ciaran Scully, Lilly Higgins, Kevin Aherne and Martin Shanahan kept the punters entertained. Down in the Distillery, you could enjoy a premium whiskey tasting and Carol Quinn’s talk on the  history of whiskey here for a tenner.

Opposite the restaurant area was where the long table was situated and just beyond there was a packed children's zone with music shows, puppet shows, and amusements. The siting of the table and the amusement space close together was great for parents and I saw more than a few taking turns at the table and then relieving the partner on child duty!

The regular Farmer’s Market was also buzzing. Maybe one day, all will be accommodated on Main Street but on Saturday the traders were doing well. Had a friendly word with the Lobsterman who I’d met in Rostellan the evening before. Baker Declan Ryan was, as ever, on duty at Arbutus stall while Noreen Conroy was as busy and as friendly as ever at Woodside Farm. Nearby, at the Courthouse, the friendly GIY folk were dishing out advice on what to grown, how to grow it and when.
Monkfish, chorizo, flatbread by Samphire (at Garryvoe Hotel)

Back on Main Street, it was hard to make choices. Would have been a gargantuan feat to sample something from all eleven restaurants! And that would leave out all the others. Tough. I had heard on the Twitter that Farmgate’s Chowder was a thing of splendour but by then I had had my fill.

One of the highlights was the Monkfish and chorizo flatbread served by head chef Kevin at the Samphire (Garryvoe Hotel) stand. The crab beignet by Pier 26 went down well. Jack and his team at the Granary Cafe stand were busy and their massive baked Rooster (with Ballinrostig nettle and  cream cheese and Gubbeen chorizo) was quite a treat and I also got a few pastries here to bring home.
Garlic selection

Indeed, that bag for home filled rapidly. Included were the Mango, Peach and habanero chutney a new product from the Rebel Chilli lads, some garlic (including Avram, Lautrec, and Pink Marble) from West Cork Garlic, a bag of Honduran coffee beans from  Badger & Dodo and 30-day aged beef from Woodside. Happy out, as we headed west from F-EAST! Here’s to next year.
Busy butcher Jim Crowley
See other posts from FEAST 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cask. Another Gem in McCurtain Street. Find out where the ugly strawberries go.

Cask. Another Gem in McCurtain Street
Find out where the ugly strawberries go
McCurtain Street has another new gorgeous drink and eat venue. It is called Cask, a brand new bar with a menu of very tasty bites indeed. The menu, in the care of renowned Greene's chef Bryan McCarthy, will change every eight weeks.

It is a new venture for Greene’s, at the other side of the arch, with its own entrance from the street. And it is not Greene’s lite by the way. While many of the same outstanding producers will feature in Cask, their produce will be in new “disguises”.

Blow-torched monkfish
 Take Skeaghanore Duck for instance, one of our dishes on Tuesday night. Skeaghanore Confit Duck, Smoked Sausage, Butter Bean, Sauerkraut, with Arbutus on the side, is reminiscent of a Cassoulet from the heart of France, a warming delight on a wintry night. 
The Cork Cassoulet
The hearty dish comes under the heading of A Little More and costs €12.90. You can start with Light, and progress to More or A Little More. There are Cheese and Charcuterie plates for sharing (perhaps!), Extras if want want to top up your More and you may finish with Sweet.

You may start wth a cocktail (or any drink of your choice) from the well stocked bar. Indeed you may pop in just for a drink. The cocktails are being described as seasonal so you can presume they'll be changing too. 

I'm sure the Katty Barry (Gorse Flower infused Bombay, Woodruff, Irish Pears and Prosecco) will go down well. Watch out too for the Man of Arran (Connemara Peated Whiskey, Smoked Wakame Syrup, Cocchi Americano, and Grapefruit Oils); this was very well received at the recent Four Hands dinner in the main restaurant.

No shortage of wines either and our pick for the evening visit was Il Bucco, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, with its sweet dark fruits but well balanced and with a smooth finish.

Frangipane Tart
 So let us go back to the beginning, at the Lights. You can have various nibbles, including olives and almonds, but CL went for the Hummus, Medjoul dates, Fennel pollen and crispy toasts (looked a lot like a well-known local medieval loaf, with dates inserted here too). Excellent starter, and so was mine which was Gubbeen Hot Dog Slider, Cotton Ball Beer Mustard, Seaweed salad, balsamic onions. This dog had a good bite! Each “starter” cost €5.90.

Rings Farm free range chickens were among the items that featured on the More section, all of these costing 7.90. But, like CL, I resisted the temptation of the Chicken Lollipops and other temptations and moved up to A Little More and my pick here was superb.

While CL was on the Skeaghanore I was enjoying Blow-torched medallions of monkfish, tomato bean stew with chorizo, lemon and seaweed (14.50). Inspiration from a warmer clime, perfectly executed and well presented, to warm the bones on a chilly night.

We were on a roll now and up for dessert. A short list but we got two good ones! And also found out where the ugly strawberries go.

Well they may have been ugly when they went in but they were oh so beautiful in Cask. The Bushby’s Preserved Strawberry Frangipane Tart with a dollop of cream was just perfect. The berries are judged not good enough to be out on their own on a plate but certainly shine as part of this lovely dessert (5.50).

I had to beg for a couple of bites of that one but I had a good bartering bait in my Yuzu Cheesecake, again with cream and also 5.50. The fragrant Yuzu with its acidic citrus juice brought my very enjoyable evening, helped by a friendly and efficient staff, at Cask to a delicious end. Guess I'll have to go back for A Little More!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Bread and Beer. And Beer in Bread.

Not Bread Alone!
Man does not live by bread alone! Not sure that Arbutus Bread would go along with that. Especially after their latest loaf, a very tasty white bread that is made with, among other things, beer from Eight Degrees Brewing Company in Mitchelstown.

Picked up a loaf in Bradley’s at the weekend. It didn't last long at all. What a crust. Couldn't wait to try it. Just added some Glenilen butter for the first slice. Fantastic. Some homemade gooseberry jam for the second slice. Superb. Ain’t going to tell you about the next slice. Nor the one after that. Experience it for yourself.

Am I the only one thinking that the Kinsale Pale Ale is the best around? Renewed acquaintance with this gem, by Black’s, in Jacque’s last week and thought it was just outstanding. Loved the way the flavours spread over the palate from the first sip and that dry clean lingering finish. Indeed, linger is the word. Took my time sipping, the better to enjoy every single every drop.

The very next day I called in to Bradley’s to get a wee stock of the KPA and here Michael Creedon,helpful as always, introduced me to the latest beer from Black’s, Ireland’s first Black IPA. Another gem that might well confuse you because of the dark colour and chocolate and coffee tones. Very happy with that one, though I must confess I’d have a slight preference for the KPA.

Kinsale have moved up to the popular 500ml size and I'd like to see more brewers follow suit and that includes Franciscan Well. I do like a wheat beer and the Well’s Friar Weisse is a favourite. Up to recently it was available only on draught and in that form I enjoyed a few out in Blairs Inn. Now is it in bottle but only in the 330ml size, same as their Rebel Red. Still, bottle size notwithstanding, it is a very tasty drop - love those refreshing flavours.

Tasting Notes
Kinsale Pale Ale ABV 5% - An exciting fusion of Cascade and Citra hops inspires tropical and citrus flavours that are beautifully balanced with the malty sweetness. The taste dollops a smack of citrus onto the palate – grapefruit and lime – alongside more sweet pineapple and tangerine a decent little malt body fairly creamy, with definite biscuit and cake-dough sweetness and straw overall very well balanced. Clean and crisp citrus bite to finish on, which lingers for a while alongside the sweet tropical fruit notes.  - Alltech Dublin Beer cup bronze medal winner 2013.

New from Blacks of Kinsale, Ireland's first Black IPA! A unique beer that ambushes your senses, it pours dark with a creamy beige head but tastes light and hoppy! Complex hoppy fruity flavours and aromas mixed with roasty bitter chocolate and coffee tones. Low carbonation for a smooth stout like finish. Dressed in black, charged with hops and ready to rock.

Thursday, August 4, 2011



Great to see newcomers Glenilen Farm (left) at the Mahon Point Farmer’s Market this morning, even if their fantastic cheesecake wasn't on display. Had to settle for their Panacotta at the very reasonable price of 4 euro for two pots!

There were a couple of farmers showing off their vegetables, just out of the ground. This time it was the turn of Ballintubber (below). Their cauliflower just cried out for a home.

Dan Aherne, another East Cork producer was next door. Their fillet steaks were gone – “they go first” – but there was considerable consolation as I helped myself to a couple of T-bones.

Martin Conroy of Woodside contributes to the new 12 mile menu at Midleton’s Sage Restaurant and tells me he is delighted with it. “It was packed last night.” Woodside have quite a range of products from their free range pigs and, among other things, we like his burgers.

Also called to Iain O’Flynn; this time we were concentrating on his soups. He had two new to me so we gave them a go: Courgette and Parmesan and also Pea and Mint.

Also visited Gubbeen, Arbutus Bread, Rose Cottage, Green Saffron and the Old Millbank Smokehouse and more. By then, the bags were full, the arms at full stretch, so off home to plan the next few meals. With this kind of produce, they should be good.